It's Dalston, Darlings!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

This is, in it’s essence, a beauty blog but from time to time I discover a nice new venue, shop or random interesting thing that I like to share. Last night was one such random interesting thing as I attended my third WI meeting. Yes, you read right WI as in the Women's institute but trust me, there was not a Victoria sponge or home made doily in sight (I think they're saving that for next month's meeting).

The Dalston Darlings is a branch of the WI set up for women in and around Dalston with the aim of honouring the time old tradition of the monthly meet up whilst tapping into the vibrant creativity which bursts from the seams of Dalston's streets.

Every month the committee invite business owners, artists, brands ambassadors and other creative sorts with interesting stories to tell to come down and host an evening with the Darlings. Last night Absolut vodka graciously lent us their vivacious, intelligent brand ambassador, Bex Almqvist. Us Darlings were thoroughly spoilt with an evening of cocktail making, vodka tasting and general mid week naughtiness.

Here’s how the evening panned out

We were greeted at the door with a bespoke Absolut cocktail made especially for the Dalston Darlings. Crafted using Absolut's Wild Tea Vodka this delicate drink tasted like the most refreshing iced tea with a subtle vodka kick. Can't tell you what else is in it though, it's a DD secret.

Following this we were enlightened to the history of vodka making and the story of Absolut and were given some inside information on how their signature tipple is made. It all starts with Winter Wheat, a particular type of wheat which tastes a bit like weetabix.

Then came the true tasting. We were each presented with 4 shots of vodka from different brands and were taught how to smell, taste and describe each sample. It turns out that vodka actually does have a taste, quite a nice taste in fact and should, every once in a while, be shown a little more respect instead of just being smothered with cola.

After this the party went upstairs where we took to our stations behind some portable bars (I need one of these in my house) and watched another cocktail demo. Owing to the two cocktails and four different types of vodka I consumed prior to this, I can't for the life of me recall what this cocktail is called. What I do remember is that it contains Absolut citron, syrup, lemon juice, creme de cassis and proseco and was invented in the 70's by some dude who stills makes cocktails today in a Hawaiian shirt from some bar in soho. All the important stuff.

Then on to the grand finale, making our very own classic cosmopolitans. I was even brave enough - with the help of Bex - to set fire to a strip of orange peel to finish off my drink.

Great night, great girls, incredible cocktails, happy days.

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